More than a month after the start of the new wave of tensions linked to the frozen conflict in Donbass, Ukraine’s separatist territory, the fog remains thick over the risks of escalation on the ground. Since the first accusations, at the end of October, of the deployment of Russian troops on the borders of Kiev, came from American confidences in the Washington Post, Moscow maintains doubts about its intentions while Ukraine, supported by the United States, denies any dramatization.
The only certainty: a perilous battle of “strategic communication” is engaged. Several high-level French sources who had hitherto remained silent, have expressed their concerns over developments in the situation in recent days.
The accompaniment in flight by Russian Su-27 fighters of several French and American planes, Wednesday 8 and Thursday 9 December, engaged in an intelligence mission over the Black Sea, is not totally unrelated to this release of the speech. While the Russian Defense Ministry spoke on Wednesday about a « interception » of these devices, implying that they had to turn around, the army staff denied the same day, explaining that its planes had just been approached by the Su-27 in order to be filmed – the images were posted on social media – but the mission was successfully completed. And this, in part thanks to an “Astac” sensor visible on the images, which allows to observe as far as Ukraine while remaining above the Black Sea.
“A communication game” relatively prowled, as deciphered by a military source. Missions like these, the French Air Force performs four to five per year without difficulty. Conversely, since the beginning of the year, twelve Russian planes flying a little too close to the hexagonal coasts have been intercepted by French fighters, revealed, Thursday, in response, the staff of the armies. Adventures that testify to a real feverishness in the region. To the point that questioned by The world, a French official estimates the situation ” very serious “.
“Volatility” of the situation
On the occasion of a joint press point, the Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly, her colleague for Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian, and the Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, visiting Paris on Friday, met shown concerned. “It is clear to us, as I have said on several occasions, that any attack on the integrity of Ukraine would entail (…) inevitably massive strategic consequences ”, notably recalled Mr. Le Drian. France is supposed to be one of the main negotiating countries for the conflict alongside Germany in a Normandy format that brings Ukraine and Russia together, but which is now stuck.
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Ukraine: Paris in the “fog” of the Russian hybrid war